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Doris Buchanan Smith



Doris Buchanan Smith
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.76

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    uninterrupted, award-winning, finalist, portrayal, prank, frequently, tragedy, writing, successful, narrator, divorce, upbringing, cancer, insight, lengthy, author
     content words:    Doris Buchanan Smith, Buchanan Smith, Carroll Smith, Doris Smith, William Reiss, Best Book, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, American Library Association Notable, Newbery Medal


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Doris Buchanan Smith
By Jamie Kee
  

1     Doris Buchanan Smith was an American author who wrote children's books. Many of these books were about the problems in children's lives like divorce, drugs, and death. Smith had excellent insight into the complexities of young people. She used her ability to see clearly into the youth and the problems they faced. Smith was one of the few authors at the time who was willing to write about these issues.
 
2     Doris Buchanan Smith was born June 1, 1934. She grew up in Washington, D.C, until she was nine. Then she and her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Since age eleven, Doris knew she wanted to be a writer, but her life kept her busy. Doris grew up and married Carroll Smith. She and her husband had four children together. They also cared for twenty-two foster children. They even became the legal guardians of one foster child. The Smiths raised this child all the way to adulthood. Doris Smith loved many things: animals, the environment, bird watching, Smith's many Shelties, and singing in the community choir. She wrote when she had the time. Smith even met with different writers' groups.
 
3     At first, Smith focused on raising her young children. When her youngest child started school, Smith began to seriously focus on a writing career. She wanted to write a novel. For two years, Smith asked her family for three uninterrupted hours a day for writing. If there was a phone call for her, the caller was to be told that she wasn't home. There were still lots of little interruptions by Smith's children. Sometimes she had to settle an argument between children. Other times, someone wanted a drink. One day, Smith's husband interrupted with a knock on her office door. Then he said, "Honey, it's not life and death but, trust me, you're home, you're home!" The phone call was from literary agent William Reiss. He was calling Smith to tell her that T.Y. Crowell & Co. agreed to publish her first book, A Taste of Blackberries (1973).

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